Griffon Vultures at the Wildlife Rescue Center laid an egg17.02.2009
The long-awaited egg was laid on February 11th as the caring mother sat on it immediately. The incubation period of these birds usually lasts for 50 days. This is the third attempt made by the young parents. During the first two years the birds did not succeed in hatching chicks due to the inexperience of the newly formed pair. However, this is something usual in the wild, too. With every new attempt they are getting increasingly better, gaining experience and becoming even more caring parents. Although most of the caretaking is done by the female bird, the male individual readily replaces her.
Identifying the exact date of egg-laying was made possible thanks to the video cameras mounted in the nest. Thus, Green Balkans’ team could take immediate actions if problems arise; they could also gain invaluable experience in aviary breeding of rare birds. This is a small step towards a big goal pursued by Green Balkans and other nature conservation organizations for years, namely – bringing these majestic birds back into Bulgaria’s sky. The Rescue Center’s team will use the so gained experience while working on breeding of other rare and even extinct species of Bulgaria’s nature. For example, these are the Bearded Vulture pair (Gypaetus barbatus) kept at Green Balkans’ Rescue Center since its transportation from Austria for the purpose of restoring the species in our country.
The Griffon Vultures arrived at the Rescue Center at different times. More than 8 years ago the female bird was received with a broken leg. Thanks to the team’s timely reaction the bird recovered, but remained at the Rescue Center for good. It is still limping with its right leg. Later, our colleagues from FWFF provided a male Griffon Vulture. So, we already had a pair. The purpose of the breeding program implemented by the Rescue Center is to involve already rehabilitated patients that could not survive in the wild. There are other pairs like this formed by patients of the Rescue Center such as Eagle Owls, Falcons, Long-legged Buzzards, Storks, etc. They, however, produce healthy offspring, which, after being raised at the Center, are released back into the wild.